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NAB Takes Survey, Finds Support

Says Americans back its position on royalty

The National Association of Broadcasters says “a clear majority” of Americans oppose efforts to make radio stations pay fees for every song aired.

It cites a poll it commissioned that found 75 percent of respondents do not support a performance fee on radio stations and 85 percent “recognize the promotional value radio airplay brings to artists and their music.”

NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said, “This survey demonstrates that the more Americans know about a proposed performance tax, the more likely they are to they oppose it.”

The survey was funded by NAB and conducted by Wilson Research Strategies. NAB said it randomly surveyed 1,000 likely voters about the proposed legislation; respondents were given information about the issue from an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Here is NAB’s summary of what the respondents were told:

The referenced Wall Street Journal article stated that the legislation “would force radio companies to pay royalties [fees] of as much as $500 million a year to record labels and artists whose music they play.” The article went on to say that “any additional expenses could send [radio companies] one step closer to financial restructuring.” After being provided with these excerpts, poll participants were asked whether they would “favor or oppose the performance fee, requiring local radio stations to pay a fee for every song they play”. Results showed that 60 percent “definitely opposed,” 12 percent “probably opposed” and 3 percent “leaned opposed.”

As part of the survey, 85 percent of those polled agreed with the statement that read, “Songs played on the radio help drive music sales, generating record sales annually for performers.” Results here showed that 64 percent “strongly agreed” and 21 percent “somewhat agreed” with the statement.